Top 7 non technical interview questions for software developers

culture fit meme

Technical assessment is crucial but never underestimate the cultural fit.

In this article, we have highlighted 7 non technical interview questions for software developers to evaluate the candidate.

What if the person is a tech genius but fails the cultural interview?

Let me be honest here, in 99% we would not hire a person who doesn’t resonate with our values or mission. 

Employees who are misaligned with company culture lack a sense of belonging, which can negatively influence their performance and lead to disengagement, and employee resignation. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, poor culture fit as a result of turnover can cost an employer 50-60% of the person’s yearly compensation (SHRM).

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.”– Simon Sinek, author, Start with Why

What works for us?

🗯️ Build a team that won’t sink your mission. 

🤔 How?

As we mentioned before in our hiring guide, we managed to build a team of software engineers with whom you can go to the cosmos or even climb Mount Everest with someday.

ralabs team

We have some non-technical questions included in the very first interview. Our exceptional recruiters with years of experience learnt to evaluate if the person is the right fit for us. 

By doing so, you can eliminate all non-fitting applicants right at the first step.

If you are not sure what is a great fit for you, maybe you should start by stating your company’s core values.

A core set of corporate values, from a business standpoint, makes it simpler for a firm to make choices. Here are the ways to create core values aligned with your company:

How to set your values?

Join Forces and Assemble Greatness

Assemble a trusted group of employees to generate a list of corporate values.

Consider everyone in the room to be one team, and limit down your list of fundamental principles to a few areas of agreement, such as “dependability” or “resourcefulness.” Then, leave the list of values and return to it after a few weeks or a month. If the team still agrees on the value statements, you’re in good condition.

This is a very great video to watch before you sit down and create a list of values. 

What makes you special?

Your core values might occasionally develop as a natural extension of your company’s overarching mission. 

The creators of the Patagonia clothing firm, for example, sought to create apparel with a low environmental effect, and its fundamental principles of eco-friendly sustainability came to represent that mission statement. 

How to Make an Unbeatable Job Offer When Hiring a Programmer for a Startup?

Ask your end-customer for opinion

Customer input is frequently the key to building fundamental principles that will assure your company’s future success. 

Perhaps they expect continuous development in customer service, a people-first attitude, or general dependability and friendliness. Consider your customers’ comments and evaluations, and strive to incorporate their suggestions into your company’s basic principles.

Top 7 behavioural interview questions

interview questions
Source: boredpanda.com

Whereas technical interviews assess your programming abilities, non technical interview questions for software developers seek to learn how engineers behave in work-related events or disputes, both good and negative. 

Remember that an interviewer knows more about the company and the position than you do, so they are looking for aspects of your personality that might provide an issue in the future. 

1️⃣ Tell me about yourself

Ideally, add some ice breaker here, e.g. ” I have seen you been in Barcelona last year, did you enjoy it?”.

Why is it important? The person is anxious, so some small take will make the candidate feel more at ease. You are basically a stranger to an interviewee. You met for the first time, and making them tell more would be a step closer to a more honest conversation.

2️⃣ Among all projects you have been involved in, what is the best one?

Here you can get a glimpse of what this person actually likes to be involved in.

This question would be the gateway to looking into an interviewee’s skills.

3️⃣ Have you ever been on a project you would never want to work again on? Why so?

It’s quite fascinating to hear these real-life stories and empathize with the candidate.

4️⃣ What it's important to you while choosing the team to work with?

Or do you have any specific values you are focusing on while searching for a new employer?

To see if you have some values in common. If a person stumbles, you can share some company values to see if they resonate with your corporate culture.

5️⃣ Imagine you are getting a job offer from two other companies and us. How would you decide which one to accept?

How would you decide which one to accept?

What are the main criteria?

Make sure to ask additional questions if you are getting very broad answers (team – who is that? How many people? interesting project – what is interesting etc.)

6️⃣ Why are you looking for a job right now?

It’s important to evaluate if this person is in a rush and why they are looking for a new job.

7️⃣ What was the biggest lesson you learned over the last two years?

Maybe some great mistakes and learning points you want to share?

This soft skills interview question can provide comfort and openness to growth. Making mistakes and learning from them is totally okay, so it would be nice to see some honesty and sharing.

What to avoid?

Asking about potential maternity/paternity leave

Employers should avoid inquiring about a potential employee’s desire for maternity leave since this might be perceived as an enquiry about the employee’s intention to get pregnant and violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. 

Similarly, inquiring about a male potential employee’s interest in paternity leave may be seen as an enquiry about his plans to use the FMLA, which he has the right to do.

Asking about strong or weak points

!come on, be more creative than this. 

This is not violating anything, but this just shows how uncreative the employer or recruiter is—since a hundred years ago, having these same questions just seem to be coming old and tiring. 

Not only that, it is already not part of the questions to ask engineers, but anyone at all! Let’s stop this altogether, can we?

Sum up

A quick tip to sum it up, hiring a software development team is NOT expensive. Wasting money on a developer that doesn’t maximize your budget is. 

More waste comes from employee position turnovers and training periods. In hiring a software developer or a team, non-technical interview questions for software developers can make you see which candidate would be the right fit for your values and your goals.

Professionalism is extremely important and is only one aspect of hiring a developer.

You’ll see that the software developer you just hired can boost you up, if not every time, whenever needed be. 

A great team and the right talent make climbing mount Everest possible. Now, seek that talent and you’ll go far!🚀

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